Get ready for deep relaxation...
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in the ocean? What it would be like to swim freely along the reef, amidst its many inhabitants without making noise, without blowing bubbles, in complete silence, propelling ourselves gracefully, in tune with the ocean? It is hard to imagine feeling like this scuba diving because it always feels like there is a barrier between us and the surrounding nature, but when freediving, we can just float around peacefully underwater, with the only noise present, that of our heartbeat.
Every time we take a breath-hold dive our body adapts more to the marine environment. Diving down beneath the waves on the surface our body becomes calmer, our heart starts beating slower, and we can truly relax and observe what happens around us as a quiet observer instead of a noisy intruder. As opposed to scuba diving where we dive to look around and see animals and landscapes, freediving is more about exploring what goes on inside of our body and mind. By diving down on a breath-hold the ocean holds up a mirror and confronts us with the tensions we are carrying around and might not have been aware of before. More importantly we can experience true bliss and real inner peace for an extended period of time. We learn to be more conscious about our physical and mental negativity and so something about it, as well as enjoy the ecstasy of pure relaxation. Freediving is for most people a life transforming experience.
Is freediving natural?
We are physiologically equipped to do this activity and training freediving makes us more and more apt to stay down longer, relax more, and go deeper. By awakening and developing our mammal dive reflex, we condition our bodies to be underwater and be in total harmony with the ocean. We all have the latent dive reflex present in our bodies, everybody can stimulate it and awaken it to become a real diver and enjoy the underwater environment. We explore the sea, as much as ourselves.
Freediving we can do with a minimum of equipment. We learn to rely on our body instead of instruments. Our body slowly adapts naturally to the ocean instead of forcing its way underwater depending on artificial equipment. We don't need a tank and regulators as we learn to oxygenate our body and economize the oxygen in our bloodstream to stay down longer in silent harmony. We don't need pressure gages but listen to our diaphragm contractions who tell us when it is time to slowly come up. We don't need a BCD to control our buoyancy but glide like seals to deeper depths and come up with powerful fin kicks to go back to the surface when it is time to breath.
Freediving is easy to learn, just because it is such a natural thing to do. Explained next there is a review of the different courses we offer and how you can start your own new adventure underwater here in Bohol with Seaquest Dive Center, step by step.
PADI offers three different courses, each one progressively longer and more elaborate. The entry level course is called the PADI Freediver course. When that's not enough you can continue and become a PADI Advanced Freediver.
Because many people are developing more and more interest in freediving and many avid freedivers are willing to share there passion for breath-hold diving, the freediving industry has been booming over the last couple of years. It is very common these days to find a freedive school admits the regular scuba shops or a place that offers both. Becoming a scuba instructor used to be the mainstream way of going around the world working in different places, sharing ones passion for the ocean, but nowadays freedive instructors are asked for everywhere. Many youngsters make the decision to learn freediving instead of scuba diving, and explore the sea the natural way. Therefor enrolling in one of the former courses might be not just the start of a new passion, but that of a new carreer. Once certified as a Master Freediver it is very easy to enroll in a freediver instructor course and become licensed to share your knowledge with others.
Course Duration and Cost
- PADI Freediver course: 12.000 php
2-3 days depending on the weather but also on the skills of the students. Courses are performance based, not time based.
- PADI Advanced Freediver course: 15,000 php
3-4 days as there is a lot of skills to practice more thoroughly
- PADI Master Freediver course: 18,000 php
4-7 days depending on the personal progress
Benefits for SCUBA-divers
If you become a Freediver or even if you just wanne try freediving to see what it is all about it will enhance some of your skills that will make you a better scuba diver. After doing a freedive course you will have practiced relaxation techniques that will make it easier for you to really relax deeper underwater, even with a tank on your back.
There are many breathing techniques that you will learn on a course. Those you can also apply while scuba diving and will just let you breath more comfortable and naturally. When it comes to the general coordination of your body underwater you will develop a new range of movements that will make it easier for you to maneuver underwater, even with the heavy scuba equipment.
Last but not least your air consumption will become a lot better. If you are a heavy breather and are just looking for some more bottom time it is also a good idea to enroll in one of our courses. After you will find yourself coming up with a lot more air left than before and you won't have to be the person to run out of air first in the dive group anymore.
You need to have a low-volume freediving mask, snorkel, bifins, wetsuit and weightbelt. For this course it is a good idea to have a personal freediving computer as well. Since we dedicate most of our time to dives below 25m it is extremely important to have your own lanyard.